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High end take-out

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• occasion: our anniversary next week

• ideal plan: a memorable meal together

• rub: there's this newborn who isn't quite ready to make her restaurant debut. Before about 6 weeks (and after about 9-10 months), they just can't be relied on to sleep through dinner, and a crying baby in a nice restaurant isn't exactly relaxing for the parents or the other diners.

• suggestions: we're up for any but we thought that some high end food to take out and eat at home would be the ticket. In particular, I'm concerned about food surviving a trip home and a potential cooling off while we tend to the wee one. The Cambridge/Somerville side of the river is easier but suggestions from farther afield are welcome too.

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  1. How about Dining In. I usally don't suggest the delivery service because it can be a little pricy, but they have a decent amount of good restaurants, and it might work for a special occasion! And, you don't even have to leave the house. I've ordered online before too, and it was really easy.

    http://www.diningin.com

    1. I think Dining In is too much of a rip off without giving a premium service. On top of the $6.50 delivery charge (and expected tip), they mark up all of the menu items (sometimes significantly). If you look at a restaurant's normal take out menu vs the Dining In menu, the Dining In prices are generally higher. This does not sit quite right with me.

      On top of that, the food usually comes cold.

      1. I can't recommend one from personal experience, but what about going about the same thing the other way around - rather than high end takeout, what about hiring a personal chef to come in and cook for you for the evening? No transport issues and probably able to have a more personalized selection, with more pampering, making it even more special.

        2 Replies
        1. re: psora

          I'd thought of that but suspected that it would be too pricey just for two. My impression was that this was generally reserved for a largish dinner party. Any suggestions of where to look? Anyone done this?

          1. re: DavisSquare

            http://www.olivesandherbs.com/ - they do catering for "intimate dinners for two".

            http://pcnchef.com/us_results?state=MA -- lots to choose from here!

            http://www.decuzine.com/pricing.html

        2. Just a thought -

          Rather than limiting yourself to places that do take-out, maybe try calling ahead to any of your favorite restaurants and explain your situation.

          I would like to think that any chef should be MORE than happy to accommodate you with a wonderful dinner to take home.

          If you go this route, please let us know how you fare.

          1. Hmmm...what about trying to put together a delicious meal that is happy being served at room temperature? The first thought that comes to mind is to get some really spectacular sushi. I wonder if Uni would be willing to do a fabulous omakase spread.

            1. How about Chez Henri? I've never gotten take-out from there, but I have seen people come there to pick up their take-out orders.

              1. I'm not sure how much he charges, but a good friend of mine has "Chef Bill" prepare meals for her family on a regular basis - I tried some of his hoisin ribs once and they were outstanding. She also had him do a dinner party for 10 people recently and the food was great. He has a "romantic dinner for two" option - you might want to check him out for kicks:

                http://www.chefbill.com/index.html

                He is apparently very nice and really accomodating (she has three kids who make the meal planning difficult) and cooks and cleans up . . . might be a nice treat.

                1. Any word on your final decision?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: enhF94

                    Through lack of oomph due to lack of sleep, we ended up (with the baby) going to Cambridge 1. The baby slept through the meal (just barely) which was quite good, as usual. Not the most relaxed or most fancy anniversary dinner ever, but pretty good considering the circumstances.

                    Thanks for all the advice and I'm sorry we didn't have the wherewithal to follow through. Anyone want to babysit for next year?